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33 posts from December 2008

31 December 2008

Light play

For no reason other than it makes me happy and makes me smile... and I'm willing to carry that through the next 365. I'm ready for '08 to be over! I'm ready for some (more) changes 'round here!!

We'll kick it off tonight with could-be-upwards of 25 people 'round a New Year's Eve bonfire, complete with fireworks*, sparklers, sparkling grape juice (no NYE is complete without it at our house), mulled cider, Katie's favorite and getting-to-be-famous Tortilla Wraps, and lots of other food and drink... but mostly, it will be complete with family and friends.

*If I can find 'em, otherwise the "poppers" I mistakenly bought at Target will have to do, though Mom said that she has sparklers and DH was going to see if there was any life in the years-old bottle rockets he recently unearthed. There's nothin' like fireworks in the snow.

30 December 2008

It's about time... let's review: 2008

As I've done the last couple of years at this time of year, it's time for a little year-in-review -- in words (the first sentence of the first post of each month) and in pictures (one favorite posted photo from each month), not necessarily related to each other.

DSC01888

January:  Get your cameras ready!!

Cara Baby

February:  I was flipping through channels yesterday while cleaning up the kitchen and stumbled across a rebroadcast of the Republican debate from the night before -- it wasn't long before I flipped channels some more, but this caught my attention for a few minutes.

Hardware Store

March:  I've been savoring my weekend.

DSC02344_0113

April:  I had a great time at cooking class last night.

NicoletHands

May:  It's Saturday Sky!

Near Waterloo

June:  VIOLA, cornuta, Black Devil.

Cuteness personified

July:  Inspired.

Birds Fly

August:  Continuing a very busy weekend, I'm on my way to Madison today in a borrowed van to haul the big stuff from Katie's apartment.

Red yarn

September:  Juno Regina!

Partial evidence

October:  It was a good day, especially since I was a little down in the dumps yesterday.

Three out of four

November:  I had a TERRIBLE FRIGHT!

What's in store

December:  Honest to god, I have so much more to say.

29 December 2008

On the needles

Turn a Square Hat 

This is a Turn A Square hat using some green Cascade 220 and the leftover Malabrigo from the hat I made for Kevin.  Making this with Katie in mind and, hopefully, the yarn will be enough to make it a bit more loose fitting than the original.  If not, I've got plenty of little bits of this and that to use up 'til I get one that's right.

Beret 26

I started to Turn A Square when I ran short of yarn for Ali's beret, as I suspected I would.  This is #26 from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2006.  I've adapted the pattern to knit on straight needles because I'll be damned if I'm going to buy yet another set of broomstick DPNs for this project.  I had pretty much finished it "as written," when I heard Ali's voice in my head cautioning that so many of the similar hats she's tried on are too small; and it was, no doubt.  So I ripped back, knit another pattern repeat, and that's where I'm at with that.  With a new skein, I might even knit another repeat.  I bought the yarn at LOOP in Milwaukee, which is closed today (as are most yarn shops 'round here), so I'll call tomorrow and see if they have a skein in the color/dye lot -- though it looks like it has neither color nor dye lot; trust me, it does, and I know that you know that it matters.  By coincidence, I may have a guest from Milwaukee for New Year's Eve who might not mind stopping by to pick it up!

28 December 2008

365.27

It turned into a Pajama Day!! Well, in my case, that's a nightgown day. It was a nice way to spend the last day of my 5-day Christmas vacation. I got a little cleaning done, did a fair bit of knitting, watched the last Packer game of the season, the Jets' last game -- and possibly Brett Favre's last-ever (hm, where have I heard that before?). Now it's back to work for three days and then a 4-day New Year's vacation. I could get used to a schedule like that.

27 December 2008

R is for...

Ruh-roh. This is supposed to be the Remote for my camera, representing one of the best $20s I ever spent, but I can't find it! I had it last night... have checked all my pockets... aRRRRRgh. So, instead, it's a Cruzer thumb drive standing in and tomorrow's mission is at hand... hopefully, it will be in hand... tomorrow.

It's very possible there will be an FO 'round here before the end of the year! I've scrapped the third (or is it fourth) start of Ali's bulky beret and have started yet another, which seems to be working. I'm lovin' it, actually. The big question is, of course, as usual, whether the yarn will hold out because, naturally, I didn't buy it around here and, in fact, it was bought months ago...

26 December 2008

Caught in the act

The good thing about being caught taking your self-portrait in a fish-eye mirror in the hallway at the brewpub (yep, back at the brewpub) while at a holiday party with a bunch of artists is that no one asks why. Theirs is not to ask what or even why... they only want to know what equipment you're shooting with! There goes one of them now. Heh.

It's been a long day. Hubby's birthday today, but I was gone for most of it -- to Madison and my BIL's dad's funeral. Was able to help keep Mack and/or Addison occupied and/or entertained at various intervals. I think it helped. It was good to be there.

As soon as I got back, I changed clothes, freshened my makeup and off we went to the party at the brewpub. Tilted Kilt Scottish Ale was was my brew of choice from the get-go tonight.

The weather has turned so warm and with all the snow on the ground, it's pea soup outside -- very foggy, very weird!

25 December 2008

Peanut!!

Here is one of the smallest and definitely the most ridiculous of my family's favorite tree ornaments. Our tree just wouldn't be complete without him.

Happy Holidays!

24 December 2008

Q is for...

Quintessential ornament. This is one of Grandma's -- Mom's mom -- who died when I was 8. It is not the most beautiful ornament on my tree, but it is definitely amongst the most treasured.

I wanted it to be Quonset hut, but the nearest favorite was recently torn down. I don't know what it is I like about those things -- simplicity and functionality, possibilities -- but, large or small, they always catch my eye.

Weather and other things conspired against the whole family being together for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at Mom's. Everyone from the north made it, but no one from the south. I think we're going to try and revive our New Year's bonfire/fireworks celebration next week when (hopefully) conditions will be more favorable. Fireworks in the snow are awesome and we certainly have plenty of snow!

We had a lovely meal tonight, though. Mom made a big pot of short ribs, I made a beautiful ensalade caprese with a bunch of different tomatoes and marinated artichoke hearts, and DH made pies (of course). We sat around and talked and laughed, shared some gifts, and had a nice time.

Thank you all for such wonderful supportive words yesterday. What my sister learned by way of details was basically this: nothing definitive, more tests and scans (the next on Friday). She -- we all -- will have good days and bad, but we'll take them all one at a time.

23 December 2008

S is for...

Karen-Sharon-Ann 

SISTERS.  (On Flickr.)  (Skipping over Q and R for the moment.)  These three are mine.  This is one of the scanned images that (still) refuses to display in Dad's frame.  It's June 1979 at Mount Rushmore (obviously), on the return leg of our first-ever trip together -- just us -- from Wisconsin to Dallas, Oregon, over to and down the Oregon coast (with Dad, his future wife, her kids) all the way to Crescent City, California, and back to Wisconsin.  We'd exchanged my brand new Toyota Corolla for our future stepdad's brand new Ford Fairmont wagon to make the trip.

Memorable Moments:

Staying overnight at a Holiday Inn in Ogden, Utah, and awakening to a snowy mountain June morning.

We helped Dad move their belongings into storage, as they were closing the door on one chapter and opening the next.  Sharon played "The Snake Charmer," the only song that stuck in her brain after all those piano lessons, as the piano was moved through the streets of Dallas in the back of a pickup truck.

Sand dunes.  Sea lions.  Caves.

Playing on the beach at Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City.  Unbeknownst to me, my future husband had just purchased a lot across the road and was preparing to build a house there.  Six years later, I married him in that house.  Six years after that, we were visiting the coast, listening as Katie skipped to a song she made up about "Kate, Kate, Kate Kiwanda!"

Pitching a tent in a mosquito-infested Yellowstone Park on the way back, Annie and I cloaked in whatever we could find to keep from being eaten alive or carried off.  It was awful, and is very likely one of the reasons why I'm not a big fan of camping.

We took a wrong turn (or missed a turn) leaving Yellowstone and ended up spending much of a day in the free-range area of the Montana Rockies.  Karen and I were the only licensed drivers, and I did most of the driving, but somehow she ended up at the wheel during that mountainous, white-knuckle (oh, that was me in the back seat!) drive -- hairpin turns, rock slides, cattle in the road, a long long long way down...  I'm feeling vertigo just remembering it.

Wall Drug.  A serious thing for McD's Egg McMuffins (as often as we could) (OMG, back when they actually made it when you ordered it? Yum).  Scrounging our pockets, the seats and the floor for McMuffin and/or gas money on the way home (we made it!).

Ann-Sharon-KarenAt some point in the mid-80s, we began to get together regularly for what we dubbed "Sister Weekends."  The first ones were in Milwaukee, but we also went to Ohio (Longaberger land) and Kansas.  It had been quite a few years since our last when we got together last month in Mineral Point to celebrate my birthday.  And each other.  Reconnecting.

Today, one of these sisters meets for the first time with her oncologist.  That she has cancer is already known.  The details will be disclosed today.

S is for this is SHITTY news and cancer TOTALLY SUCKS.

S is for SADNESS.
S is for STRENGTH.
S is for SUPER SISTER SIZED SUPPORT.
S is for please SEND all your good vibes, karma, wishes, prayers, and healing thoughts for my SISTER.

XO, honey, I love you.

22 December 2008

P is for...

Perfectly Pampered.

Handknit socks arrived in the mail today. In the mail. They are finished, they are done, they are ready to wear. That means I didn't knit them. They were knit FOR me.

Socks.Knit.FOR.Me. !!!

This is the second time socks were knit for me. Celia knit the first pair which I won in a contest (they accompanied me nicely to a recent, cold football game in Green Bay). This pair...

In October I complained about it being cold outside and having cold feet. (Hello. It is now December -- many degrees colder and a way lot snowier and that was NOTHING to complain about!) I also proclaimed that, while I had small stash of sock yarn, I was resigned to the fact that I didn't really like knitting socks and all that yarn would have to become something else.

So Lora offered to knit me a pair. Of socks. Just because.

I can't tell you how that makes me feel... maybe you can tell by the look on my face! Well, that and the wool smells so DARN good. I'm practically swooning here, bordering on delirious.

Thank you, Lora. Thank you so much. ; )

21 December 2008

O is for...

Old photos. This is June 1987. My grands holding my two eldest daughters -- Ali was only about two months old (but what a little chunker, eh?) and Katie was a brand new big sister.

For as far back as I can remember, my grandparents spent the month of June at "The Flowage." We always tried to make it, too. It was a wonderful piece of property on a point and with it's own little island where the old boat house was (and also poison ivy) (and forget-me-nots) (and ladyslippers). Gram & Gramps are sitting on the edge of the bridge to the island.

I spent most of today buffing up and reformatting a bunch of photos from various sources/cameras so that we can give my dad a pre-loaded, as it were, digital photo frame for Christmas. I am agitated beyond belief with the fact that NONE of the old photos I scanned will display in the frame. I can see them in fast-forward-ish menu bar, but they will not display. I am steeling myself for a call to Tech Support tomorrow...

I am actually going to try rocketing to the finish of the ABC-Along. I really do hate not to finish what I started, though I meant to start finishing yesterday.

20 December 2008

Yay!

The tree is up and the lights are on!! Can't wait to sit back and watch the girls decorate it -- possibly tonight... probably tomorrow.

It sure does smell good. ; )

19 December 2008

Drained

The tree's been in the garage since Tuesday night and I just have this block -- both mental and physical -- about trying to find the lights. And the stand. I did walk about the basement for a few minutes last night, looking for the stand, but came up empty. I borrowed it from Mom last year and I wonder if I returned it; she does not recall.

Do you think I could just lean the tree up in a corner of the living room and have the kids put their ornaments on it? I could tilt a lampshade in that direction. I mentioned it to Gretchen in reply to a comment yesterday and she suggested that I could go all out and even use a colored bulb.

It's snowing. The weekend is upon us and there's going to be more snow! It looks like I won't be venturing far from home, so I guess I'll practically be forced to face it. *sigh* It'll come together.

18 December 2008

Update

From: Katie Cell
I'm done!!! Yayyyy. I'll stop by on my way trhru
3:11 pm on 12/18/08

* * * * * *
That would be college.  The girl is done with college!!

* * * * * *
(For now.)

Chocolate Crinkles for Peg

I exchanged my Chocolate Crinkles with Peggy and others last night and brought home a nice variety of holiday treats to share. I enjoyed some hors d'oeuvres and chocolate martinis with friends. It was nice.

Ali came along around noon yesterday and she helped me out a little. She's on a bit of a baking bender, anyway, having been at the house the previous couple of days making dozens and dozens of cookies for gift-giving, including shortbread swirls and checkerboards. They are awesome. She was rather spurred and inspired after doing an internet search and landing on a site where there were many reviews, comments and suggestions, and she is now interested in the way things work -- what do all of the different ingredients do, how do they work together, what happens when, what if...

I've always had this fantasy that one of my girls would be a chef of some sort... pastry is good... and that another would be nominated for an Oscar in the "Best Art Direction" category. A girl can dream.

I'm hoping for knitting time tonight... preparing for another attempt at Addison's Christmas stocking. If that doesn't work out, there's are several hats on the knitting-to-do list.

17 December 2008

Baking

It's not that Chocolate Crinkles are any easier than Chocolate Truffles -- the process is almost exactly the same minus the baking for the truffles -- but somehow they seem more substantial for the cookie exchange. I'm being pulled in 10,000 directions today... should have gone with truffles.

16 December 2008

A mouse in the house!

Mice1

Three of them!

Mice2

I've been meaning to blog these for over a month.  Three tiny pewter mice -- no bigger than an inch from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail -- that were nestled in the frosting of my birthday cake!  My childhood nickname was Mouse and while it's rarely used these days, it leaps to people's minds at the sight of mice -- only the cute ones -- and I still receive mouse-y trinkets on occasion.  ; )  Lately, these guys can usually be found hanging out and huddling around the F8 or F12 keys on my computer keyboard at home.  Little watchmice.

Beads-on-wire

My Bijouterie fling isn't over yet.

15 December 2008

1F

In which F is for Fahrenheit, but could also be for F*ucking cold outside!  And, apparently, given that little Freudian slip of the Finger, it truly is.  Dang.  A high of 1F today.  Eight-below-zero tonight.  "Feels like" a helluva lot colder...

The doorknob on the door to the garage (a detached garage) was frozen this morning, the two cars with openers locked inside.  I can see now that a touchpad opener on the exterior could be useful once or twice a year.  I suggested using a blow dryer to defrost the knob and the DH emerged from the house with the heat gun and all I could imagine was a detached garage in flames so I retreated into the house for some other distraction while he blew on the door.

The knob was defrosted in only a few minutes, of course, and entry gained, but there was still plenty of  moisture in the knob and it froze back up again in mere minutes.  We enjoyed a comparitively warm and melty weekend, which concluded with a light rain last night followed by a fierce, howling wind to bring in the cold.

Wow, this month is flying by -- I guess December always does.  The next meeting of my book club is purely social and, this year, includes an optional cookie exchange, to which I opted in but kind of wish I hadn't though I'm sure I'll be thankful in the end.  I was thinkin' I still had a week or so, but it's this Wednesday!

We'll be meeting at the same place where this photo was taken last night:

365.13

Self-Portrait with New Earrings (knitted ones that I made myself) and The Thing on the Bathroom Wall at the Restaurant Where I Attended a Christmas Party

...and it remains to be seen whether my unintended series of holiday party bathroom self-portraits continues and, if it does, how it will differ because I'm pretty sure I won't be looking much different and I think this is the only bathroom at this particular establishment.  ; )

Think good, warm, healing thoughts please.  Thanks.

14 December 2008

Bijouterie-2

The second one was a little bit easier than the first. And I wore them to a party tonight!

13 December 2008

Bijouterie on a whim

I've only knit one earring so far and am anxious to make it a pair, but already one of my favorite things about these is how big they are yet nearly weightless.

I have 30 gauge wire from the florist shop (heh) and 28 gauge craft wire from the bead shop. They were pretty clueless at the bead shop. There were no cable thimbles to be found, but I was able to get sterling wires and I just looped the wires through a few times.

Very fun project.

12 December 2008

What think you?

Almost there

Noro Stripes

Is it working?  Do you like it?  *I* like it.  It's giving me some other ideas, too.  I'll find out in about two weeks whether the recipient likes it.

We are in for the most craptastic weather this weekend -- temperatures ranging from 1F to over 40F, which doesn't sound so bad on its own, but add precipitation and it all turns craptastic on ice.

I just firmed up my work schedule for Christmas week -- I'll work two days and then have off from Wednesday through Sunday!  That's FIVE days.  WooHOO!  Then to work for three days during New Year's week and off  for FOUR.  So, yeah, just try to wipe the smile off my face.

Happy Weekend, everyone.

11 December 2008

It's a stripe of a different sort

Noro Sripes

I called kmkat as I got in the car after work last night.  She's in town for a conference and I was headed downtown to the hotel to pick her up.  I told her that I'd be there in 10 minutes and that I'd meet her in the lobby.  I needed to consult with her on something and the result of that consultation would determine our first stop.

You see, I was knitting the Noro striped scarf the other night and I needed to attach a new ball of yarn.  I tied on and knit a few rows and it wasn't feeling right, so I ripped it out and tried again... and again... and things were just not right!  I finally checked the label and discovered that the new ball was Kureyon, not Silk Garden.  I honestly can't say whether I recently bought it for this project mistakenly thinking it was SG, or if I plucked it from my meager Noro stash thinking the same.  Either way, it wasn't working, and I had no other SG waiting in the wings.

Beer Bokeh w/Knitting

My options were few... like, exactly two: stop or keep going.  I decided to just keep on knitting with the one color I had.  It's a very dark colorway -- black with a bit of green and, just last night, a bit of purple emerging.  I wound it up into a ball the other day and don't really remember, so it's a mystery as it unwinds and re-reveals itself to me.  Anyway, I had a few inches done and needed kmkat's opinion on whether it was working on any level.  I kind of liked it.  DH said that he liked it.  I needed the opinion of another knitter.

And she liked it!

Noro Socializing

So we were able to skip the yarn store stop and get right to the important business of socializing.  I made much more progress during the evening and meant to take a better photo of the big picture, but that wasn't working last night.

What a great time we had!  I took her to a coffee shop/cafe a few blocks from the hotel that I don't get to often.  We sat down and got right to the knitting, each enjoying a beer; we knit some more, then had a little something to eat; more knitting was done, followed by dessert, and even more knitting.  We talked about knitting, reading, authors, kids and work (just a teensy tiny bit), and the weather -- at this time of year, the weather is high on the topic list 'round here.

We kept the place open 'til 8:30 or so (it wasn't ONLY us), even though closing time was actually 8:00 (this must be one of the reasons why my regular knitting group doesn't meet there).  Thanks K!!

10 December 2008

Noro Stripes

Variation on a theme. Sometimes these things don't turn out like the others. I should be finished with this by the weekend. Another attempt at Addison's Christmas stocking forthcoming.

I had a great time tonight knitting out with a friend in town for a convention. More on that tomorrow. I'm pooped.

09 December 2008

Blue snow makes me happy

Mom's playhouse

I trudged through the snow late this afternoon -- out the garden room door, across the patio, up and over the deck, down heavily snow-covered stairs -- to take photos of Mom's playhouse (or, as she prefers to call it, "garden house") (whatever) (it looks an awful lot like a certain gingerbread house) (not that my mom's a wicked old witch or anything).  It's been years since she sent out cards, but she's feeling inspired -- in part, I think, by the cards I made with Mack & Addison and how people have enjoyed them -- and wants to spread the love and share a little of her joy, too.  The little house has been in progress for a few years, but it's finally (just about) finished.  It sits at the far edge of their lot, way down in the ravine, and it makes her happy to look at it from the house.  So warm and cozy.

I was flummoxed all day about the 365 photo.  I tried a few different things that didn't work out and then I saw this...

365.8 (before)

...and had to do this...

365.8

...it's not as soft and fluffy as it looks.  It's quite cold and wet, as you might expect.  (Still no hat.)

08 December 2008

He's rockin' it

Bad Haji Bad Haji

Michael's band played out at a local bar tonight for the first time since February 2006.

He's rockin' it on bass guitar!  ; )  I'll never be a rock concert photographer, but I went down and took a few photos.  I smell like an ashtray, but it was worth it to see him play.

* * * * * *

My brother had a long recovery from a terrible car accident at the end of February 2006, so this is huge.  We wondered -- he wondered -- for a while whether he'd ever play out with the band again... whether there'd even be a band.  Very cool.  I blogged quite a bit of it to keep my sanity -- just click on the big "Michael" over on the right under "Categories" if you care to read the long rollercoaster back story.

How to stay warm (or at least not freeze) at 15F

I went to the Packer game yesterday at L-L-L-L-Lambeau Field -- the Frozen Tundra -- and it was darn cold. The bank sign said 15F when we passed on our way to the hardware store to buy hand- and toe-warmers; it was 11F on the way home after the game.

I wore tights, a pair of leggings, and a pair of jeans.

On my feet (over the tights), I wore a lighter pair of socks, a pair of wool socks (thanks Celia!), and my Eddie Bauer boots.

I had a turtleneck over a silk undershirt, and a thermal T over that, topped off by my EZ* Ribwarmer. I had on a wool cardigan that I later removed for use as a lap blanket (Katie & I shared), and that I later wished I had back on but I would have had to wrestle Katie for it. I also had on a coat.

I wore a neckwarmer (thanks Sarah!), a silk shawl wrapped as a scarf, a free Packers scarf handed out at the gate as we entered, and earmuffs. On my hands were my Fetching mitts and my EZ* Mitered Mittens.

Unfortunately, the Packers lost. Again.

*Elizabeth Zimmermann knew a thing or two about Wisconsin weather.

07 December 2008

Go Pack Go!!

Watch for me in the stands at Lambeau Field today.  I'll be the one all bundled up... in wool.
; )

06 December 2008

Brew Sampler

BrewSampler-web

I attended a little Christmas party last night.  We started at a local brewpub for drinks and hors d'oeuvres, then some of the best pizza around.  We started passing different beers around the table for sampling, then decided order a sampler.

Brew2-web

Houdini Honey Wheat was in my big glass (with a slice of orange), but the Tilted Kilt Scottish Ale was very good and is on my list for next time.  My book club meets here often, so there will definitely be a next time.  I don't know why I never tried the beer before.  I also liked the Vanishing Vanilla Stout -- it took some getting used to... and I did.

We later went upstairs to take in the show at a comedy club and it was funny -- lots of laughing, stomach hurting.  Best of all, It wasn't in your face, it wasn't explicit, and it wasn't abrasive.  Good 'n Funny.

05 December 2008

'Tis the season

As seen at Carole's.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?  Wrapping paper is preferred, but it depends on the item... and the time.

2. Real tree or artificial?  There's a nice artificial tree in the basement that I've used for years -- I love it.  Last year we had a real tree and I think we will again this year.  Simple and small.

3. When do you put up the tree?  A real tree will go up about a week to 10 days before Christmas.

4. When do you take the tree down?  I'm not much for a hangin' on holiday... the tree's been booted to the curb as early as the 26th.  Mom always keeps hers up 'til the Feast of the Epiphany (at least).  Mine will come down sometime in between.

5. Do you like eggnog?  I love eggnog, but I try not to have it around much.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?  Music.  All of my favorite gifts for any reason had to do with music.  I remember receiving a record player of my own in 1969, along with a 45rpm of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" and The 5th Dimension's "The Age of Aquarius" album.  The soundtrack to "Jesus Christ Superstar" was another memorable gift a few years later.

7. Hardest person to buy for?  Thank goodness we draw names.  My dad's hard to buy for -- I've been going with consumables the last few years -- fruit, chocolate, nuts.

8. Easiest person to buy for?  It's usually pretty easy to buy for my sisters.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?  I do, though I don't always get it out.  My grandmother used to teach ceramics and she gave me a beautiful, simply finished, porcelain nativity set that she made many years ago.  I think Grandpa built the accompanying wooden "stable."  Or maybe my dad.  I put it up mostly because it reminds me of Grandma & Grandpa.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?  I am SO BAD at this.  I used to mail cards with a photo AND a letter, but haven't done it in years.  I've received complaints... I have good intentions, but usually run out of steam and/or time.  I'm thinking of a New Year's card this year... or maybe Valentine's Day... or St. Patrick's Day.  Or maybe just Any Day -- you know, like Whatever Day I Get It Together day.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?  I'm sure I've received a lousy gift or two, but I guess I let those things go pretty easily.  (Is there a question about the Best?)

12. Favorite Christmas movie?  "Love Actually."  The full range of my emotions is worked over in that one, but it also fills my heart.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?  I do a little picking up throughout the year (and hope that I remember...); there's always some last minute running around between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?  No.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?  Fudge.  And cookies.  Cut-outs.  Peanut Butter Kisses.  Spritz.  Herring.  We always have herring at Christmas.

16. Lights on the tree?  Lots.  Clear.

17. Favorite Christmas song?  I am a big fan of Christmas music, there aren't many songs that I don't like.  (Just pick one!)  "Celebrate Me Home," Kenny Loggins.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?  Stay home.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?  You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen; Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.  And Rudolph.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?  Christmas Eve at Mom's with sibs; Christmas morning at home with the "kids."

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?  Commercials are annoying.  On the bright side, I'm thankful that I don't have little kids anymore because the commercials geared to kids are the worst!  All those craptastic toys.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color?  I love all of my antique ornaments... and the personalized ceramic ones that Grandma made... and the ones that used to belong to my other grandma.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?  Nothing.  Well, I want LOTS of stuff and I also want nothing.  Mostly, I want to feel better about the state of things -- the world, the economy, my kids' futures.  I would like to hear that the half-million jobs lost in November were re-created in December, with another half-million or so for a New Year's present, and so on with Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Any Day.

24. Angel on the tree top or a star?  Angel.  I've had a few different toppers, but it's always been an angel.

25. Favorite Christmas dinner?  We love to try new things -- Cornish hens, Beef Wellington, standing rib roast, glazed ham.  Appearing at every holiday meal are corn pudding and Waldorf salad.

04 December 2008

Ooops

Almost forgot to blog.  Even though I missed a day last month, I still intend to blog with the best through the end of the year.

Striping continues.

And it continues to entertain.

There's a Christmas party tomorrow -- at a comedy club (I sure hope the guy's funny) -- that will seriously cut into my striping time.

For the first time in a long time, though, I've been taking my knitting to work... and actually knitting during my lunch break.  So progress is being made, anyway.

03 December 2008

What's in store

It's like crack. These Noro Striped Scarves take the "just one more row" thing to an entirely new level. I anticipate and can't wait for each subtle change, and then anticipate and can't wait some more. Try it, you'll like it.

This one I'm knitting just as I'm supposed to. Pretty much.

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